Friday, May 4, 2012

What a funny thing time is. I have spent the past four years of my life as a college student at Utah State University. I would have never imagined all the things that came into my life as a result of this decision. Even though I have been packing for a week, the emotions of change did not hit me until today, sitting in the computer lab killing time before my last final. I realize now in three months I won't be coming back. I would like a moment to just re-live a little bit the adventures I have had. 1. Roommates- yes, roommates in and of themselves are an adventure. I have had 34 different roommates over 4 years and they have been a learning experience to say the least. If you need to develop some better people skills, go live in an apartment with 7 other people. That'll do the trick! 2. Australia - I know I talk about that a lot, but I would have probably never gone if it hadn't been for my decision to first come to USU. The list of things that experience gave me is endless (I won't bore you), but I am who I am today because of that. 3. Working in the Fish lab - For two years I worked in the fish ecology lab on campus, mostly counting zooplankton. That may sounds like the most horrifyingly tedious task to most all of you, but I truly came to enjoy my time with a microscope, and clicking my counter to the beat of whatever music I was listening. I am sure it annoyed the hell out of the other technicians. Through the lab I worked in northern Oregon last summer. I was beat up by my pack and the trail, only to be further humbled by the river every day. I wouldn't change it for the world. Rivers hold a new love for me all because of that job. I also became great friends with many people and professors in my time with the lab. As the months went on my boss continued to think up ridiculous names to call me in emails including: nerd, coot, and dork. Only coming from him would I take those as compliments. 4. Classes - Yes, all of us in college have taken great classes. We all have professors we love, and classes that changed our lives. But I believe that my major contains the greatest classes any one could take. The diversity of information we had to know (actually KNOW) was staggering. I took chemistry, physics, biology, statistics, algebra, calculus, aquatic invertebrate identification, hydrology, oceanography, fish ecology, fish diversity, GIS (mapping) and limnology(the study of freshwater lakes and stream) just to name a few. For my soul I took african dance, jazz band, symphony orchestra, and lap swimming. There was never a semester I wasn't taking at least 17 credits, and there was never a semester that I wasn't happy doing so. No, I am not graduating with a 4.0, but I am graduating with a love for my field, a love for people, and also a bit of knowledge. Now that this time is over, it's incredible to think that these four years will carry me through the rest of my life essentially. The one decision I made to go to college will govern the experiences I have from now on. Thank you USU for what you have given me. If you are debating attending college, GO!!! Find what makes you tick, find what you love. It doesn't matter if you are 18, or 28. There is a place for you at a university, and you can find it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some new/old music

So I have written a lot of songs, and this one I wrote about a year ago for my brother Nick, who had just been diagnosed with a crazy eye degenerative disease and was going blind very rapidly. It was heartbreaking because he is a very talented designer; bikes, clothes, gear, posters, everything he touches is gold when it comes to design. Don't worry, he got an experimental surgery done and can now see, but this is the song that I wrote for him. I will try and post some more videos soon!
(ignore the random setting, and the weird glances I keep giving the camera ha ha)

Monday, July 11, 2011

To those who stand alone

One thing that I have learned is that conformity is unfortunately found everywhere. Even among alternative universities with diverse majors, there are those who will still persecute you for being outside the box. As it is quite obvious I am a fisheries major. I have noticed many women in my field (in most all the different countries and states I have been to) don't wear make-up, definitely do not own a pair of heels, wear chacos and plaid every day. I am not bashing on that at all, because there are days where I don't wear any make-up, wear chacos and caraharts, and am very happy doing so. I love me some cowboy boots and some quick-dry pants. But I guess if you enjoy wearing those things, you should not enjoy wearing the opposite. I have had many interesting looks when I have walked into my department wearing 4 inch heels, make-up, and some wild fashion shirt or dress. I have had snap judgements made about me because of this, some even by professors.

I thought that my knowledge about fish and marine biology and natural resource issues would be enough to protect me from the constant need to prove myself. I thought my credentials would be enough, but there are still those who are blinded by outward appearances. There are those who are unable to have any sort of relationship (professional, work, school etc) with a strong outspoken woman, who actually looks like a woman.

I still see that no matter where you go in life, there is the need to be a sheep.

To all those out there who are the black sheep, or an entirely different species, DO NOT LET THEM WIN. Do not conform, do not give up. You are amazing in what you are. If you know you belong, fight for it. If you don't fit in, more power to you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Unidentified World

This week I have discovered a new show on National Geographic called Beast Hunter. It's pretty much about a guy who goes around the world looking for unidentified creatures, maybe mythical legends passed down through generations or a freak sighting someone "claims" they saw. Most of the show is repetitive, but there are some fascinating stories and fun science facts. Here is my two cents on unclassified, possibly mythical creatures random people say they saw. They do exist.

Only 4% of the worlds oceans have been explored. More people have been to the moon than to the abyssal deep zone. Our oceans contain giant colossal squid, over 50 feet long that have only been sighting a handful of times. They contain blue whales, which to this day, no scientist knows where their birthing or mating grounds are. We are still finding islands out in the Pacific. Every dive we do brings up anywhere from 4 to 400 new species. We have fossils of Ceolocanths (prehistoric fish), and thought they went extinct over a few million years ago. That is until 1912 when a fisherman caught one, and we discovered a whole population living in a cave system in the pacific (still there today). There is definitely the possibility of some "sea monster" or prehistoric creature out there.

The rain forests of Brazil, Sumatra, and Africa are also still largely unexplored. In 2008, a population of 100,000 silverback gorillas was found in the Congo. Anywhere that can hide 100.000 gorillas definitely has the potential to hide species that we could never even imagine. Whole populations of humans live in the Amazon that we have still never had contact with the outside world, or even known of it's existence. This is mostly due to the fact that rain forests are so inaccessible. If getting lost doesn't kill you, a jungle cat, spider, ant, or poisonous frog will. Also the resources needed to trek through a rainforest for a few months would be more than even 5 to 10 men could carry.

Also, think about the crazy animals we have already found: electrical eels which can shock you with over 600 volts (6x an american wall socket), Horny lizards in the southwest dessert can shoot blood up to 6 feet out of their eyes for defense, and then re-generate them, Narwhales from the north pacific have a 10 foot horn growing out of their head. There are some pretty wild traits that exist in the animal kingdom, so who says that they can't occur together or that weirder ones aren't out there.

There is still so much left to discover, both plants and animals. I think my new life goal is to find something like that, whether deep in a rainforest, or deep in the ocean (knowing me it'll probably be deep in the ocean). There are still so many beautiful things waiting to be found.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Germany

So this post is one of many regarding the incredible food that I have had here in Germany. First, the story of how i got here is pretty great. Normal flight from SLC to New York, normal flight from New York to Dublin...and that's where it all went downhill... So first I was at the wrong gate... so after running 15 minutes across the whole airport with a 20 lb bag (without wheels) I got to my right gate, only sit there for an hour for some unknown reason. Then... I get on the plane. And there I stayed for 4 hours. Frankfurt was snowed in, and it started out that we would only have a 30 minute delay, which turned into 50,which turned into an hour and a half, which finally ended at 3 hours. They started bringing the drink service through the plane we were sitting there for so long. So I finally got to frankfurt, only to sit at the luggage carousel for an hour to get my bags. The worst part was I could see max just outside security but I could not get to him cause I had to wait for my bags. Talk about awful. Once happily with Max, the rest was pretty easy, six hour train ride, then sleep. And now the FOOD!!!

1. Bread rolls with an assortment of spreads including:
chocolate cream cheese, some liver/meat spread thing that was amazing (and i didn't want to try at first), authentic strawberry jam, nutella, real german meat slices that reminded me of extremely good bologna.
2. The Christmas Market
a. Poofertjes - my new favorite treat. They are french, and these little puffy round disks made of a crepe like batter, but they puff up when they are cooked. They serve them with this amazing vanilla sauce that comes in cartons and with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. They are heaven. You can eat 40 of them and still want more.
b. Salami - oh my gosh, real german salami is incredible. It's the perfect amount of spicy and mmmm... just wow.
c. Chocolate covered grapes - they come on a skewer and are so good!! Definitely an unexpected fruit to cover with chocolate.
d. Kase Breztel - cheese pretzel, big and soft, enough said.
e. Quark - i don't know exactly what it is. We ate it in a big ball, it's sort of like a spongy pastry type thing that they cook in a giant ball and cover with cinnamon and sugar. Very very good.
f. Schmalzkuchen - deep fried little puffy pastry squares served with powdered sugar. The outside is crunchy - flakey, and the inside is almost hollow, but there's a little bit of squishy yum in there.
g. Hot Chocolate with Peppermint - sounds normal enough, but the Germans make their hot chocolate with real chocolate, so it's kind of bitter, not like the over sugared american junk.
3. Other random food (I can't remember the german names)
a. Little sausages (brawtwurst) with real saurkrawt and mashed potatoes. Any meat here is flawless, it's so good. The saurkrawt is also real, not stuff you get out of a can in america, it's so yummy.
b. Noodles and beef - sort of like penne pasta topped with beef stew, but thicker, with better veggies, and better beef, so not like beef stew at all ha ha.
c. Fresh Sandwhich - Some amazing bread roll, dark, hard on the outside, soft on the inside, dusted with flour, just perfect. Then lettuce, huge slices of tomato and mozzarella, the real mozzarella, like buffalo mozzarella and big basil leaves all through it. It was heaven, cause I am a huge fan of those mozzarella stack appetizers at nice italian restaraunt, so this was perfect.

So there is my food diary for my first few days in Deutschland. So far i am loving this country. It is everything I imagined it would be, the quaint little towns, the old buildings, the trees, it's just lovely. And Max is better than I remember, things are all around just lovely. Life is beautiful.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I never knew I could feel such passion for something until Australia. Wow. I see pictures, I hear the word, anything with that country and my soul feels transformed. It's more than just a love. It feels like every part of that place has been intertwined with my veins, my bones. I know I was only there for 7 months, but who is to say that 7 months isn't enough to change your whole life?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life keeps rolling on

So much has happened these past few weeks, it is hard to believe that I am back in Utah and not in Australia. I wake up every morning wishing I was waking up to the lorikeets and kookaburras outside my window. But Australia gave me some of the most beautiful things in my life, things that I will forever be grateful for.

1. Australia gave me love - I fell in love there, with a German man. I only had to go halfway around the world to find the perfect man. He is everything I never believe would exist for me. He is the love I only ever saw in movies, and I had convinced myself that I was too unique and weird to ever experience. Even though he is halfway around the world back in Germany, he has become my best friend. I am so amazed that he still loves me everyday especially after all the stupid things I do and say. I am so humbled to have someone like him in my life.

2. Australia gave me conviction - Living there made me realize I was living the life i should, and living the life i needed to be. It gave me stronger conviction to be true to who I know I am, who I've always been. There is now no question in my mind about the life I have chosen, the religion I live, the career I want etc. It gave me a further conviction that this is MY life, and I am the guardian of it, and it is MY choice to live the way I should.

3. Australia gave me peace - Every day I woke up to being completely happy. I found my place, and the most amazing peace and joy comes into your life when you find your niche in the world. I know we are supposed to find peace within, but I find peace living in a place I love, and now I know what kind of place that is. Oceans, fish, beaches, green, warm, and happy. Australia is a happy country, I love it.

4. Australia taught me to let go - when I first met my wonderful german, I was so afraid of what being with him would mean. I was so afraid of just letting go and jumping into the unknown. I am notorious for over analyzing everything, so Australia taught me to just stop thinking and do. I did that everyday. Just stopped thinking and did. Like hitch hiking. I met wonderful people doing that. Or taking a spontaneous trip to sydney. Or finally saying yes (after making the poor man wait for 3 months).

Yes of course there are things I would have done differently there. I would have said yes earlier, I would have said no earlier as well to some others. But after all is said and done, I wouldn't change it for the world. I learned so much about me, I hope everyone in life can find their place, find themselves where ever that may be, here in Utah, in the USA, in any country around the world.